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Inspired by a true incident, this powerful and disturbing novel focuses on Rudi Kabbel, a survivor of Nazi-occupied Belorussia, and Terry Delaney, a young Australian rugby player who falls in love with Kabbel’s daughter. With the optimism and innocence of those unscathed by war, Delaney gropes to understand Kabbel’s outlook on life and all too slowly grasps its implications.


A dark and thrilling novel
Nadine Gordimer, Observer
A brilliant book
Subtle and gripping
The Sunday Times
A major Australian work of art . . . a memorable reading experience
Daily Mail
Thomas Keneally has always been remarkable for the breadth of his vision . . . This is an impressive performance, ingeniously constructed, extremely telling
Daily Telegraph
A master in fine fettle . . . a brave, brisk book, loud with the lessons of history.
Mail on Sunday
Thomas Keneally's plots are as pugnacious as his prose
New Statesman
A fine new novel . . . Keneally's story illustrates an innocent if brash new world contaminated by old-world sins . . . superb storytelling and strong narrative framework
The Times